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NCLB, State By State

The National Education Association is kicking off its public relations campaign pushing Congress to make changes in the federal No Child Left Behind Act with at 221-page booklet featuring thoughts on the law from a sampling of educators from every state. Overwhelmingly the teachers find the No Child Left Behind Act, which is scheduled for reauthorization this year, sorely lacking. The publication, “It’s Time For A Change! Voices from America’s Classrooms” is organized by state and features entries from teachers who tell tales of physical education classes and science classes being down-sized, of teacher frustration, and of demoralized special education students all due to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. For example, Sandra Winter, a middle school teacher in Villa Park, Ill. says, “Because of the pressure for all children to score high on the standardized ISAT (Illinois’ state test) my students lost three and a half weeks of science instruction. That is how much time I needed to teach them various test-taking strategies to score well on the test. This loss of subject matter instruction time put them behind students from previous years.” The NEA also provides a review of its position on NCLB. If you want a bit of a different perspective, you can also check out the American Federation of Teachers recommendations for changing the law (PDF document). For a good primer on reauthorization and the issues Education Week sums it up with this story.

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